Abstract: Not ageing in place is an increasing reality for many older Europeans. For several decades societies have applied different care models in developing initiatives to provide safe and age-friendly spaces. This article presents the community care model implemented by the Italian service provider ISRAA in Treviso (Italy) in one of its nursing homes and senior cohousing projects. The aim of our study was to analyse this senior community care model and find out how residents have responded to it. Participants were both the older adult residents in the two ISRAA facilities and professionals responsible for their social attention. A qualitative methodology was used: questionnaire, interviews, and focus groups with professionals and care facility residents. Results reveal the care philosophy implemented, residents’ experiences, the main barriers to creating a community, and how this model could be improved by following community development principles, with the older people’s help, participation, and engagement. The conclusions highlight the importance of applying principles of self-determination and social inclusion in a preventive care model for the senior community. In addition, a key factor in promoting community development is for professionals to act as community development practitioners and to allow older adults to be part of the change.
Keywords: ageing; care; cohousing; community; community care; elderly; gender; nursing home; social inclusion